Terra was chosen by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to serve as the Landscape Architect and team leader for Phase I of the Transforming Twelfth Avenue in Homestead Project. The project aims to renew an urban corridor while artfully and effectively reducing stormwater runoff from a city block adjacent to the Barrett Elementary School in the Steel Valley School District (SVSD), and Terra is actively exploring ways to take first steps toward making SVSD the greenest in Allegheny county! The site will provide nature play and outdoor classroom opportunities while meeting stormwater management goals.
Beyond the design opportunity, Transforming 12th is unique for another very important reason. Terra’s staff, along with Bernie Lamm, professional engineer and natural philosopher from Common Ground, worked hand-in-hand with high school students participating in the Creating Value Program. Our typical design process, including site preparation, a kick-off charrette, conceptual designs, and coordination with our team engineer, became a project-based learning initiative that allowed the students to take ownership of the vision for a greener, healthier and more vibrant outdoor environment in their own backyards. The students performed site analyses, walked through the phases of the design process with Terra and stormwater management practices with Bernie, and ultimately presented the final design to the SVSD Board of Directors and community members.
The Creating Value program’s green infrastructure projects are featured in the Fall issue of Conserve – turn to page six!